The Painted Veil

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Director: John Curran
Cast: Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Anthony Wong
RunTime: 125 mins
Genre: Drama
Rating: NC-16 (Scene of Intimacy)

Edward Norton must be one of the most versatile actors around, taking roles from the violent American History X and Fight Club, a charming magician in Illusionist and a love forlorn doctor in The Painted Veil.

He went on to produce The Painted Veil with Naomi Watts despite all odds, especially the industry lack of confidence in a love epic. Cultural barriers were plenty, American-based Norton, Australia-based Watts with actor Hong Kong-based Anthony Wong had to deal a British based piece filmed in China. We all know how difficult it is to get a film permit in China.

The story: When an extra-marital affair is exposed, the husband takes revenge by bringing her along to China to fight cholera. It seems absurd to any woman, but the spoilt wife learns more than just love on this journey.

The love story is not typical, and the two seem an unlikely couple, one boring and one fun loving. As the story slowly unfolds, you feel more for the two leads who gave credible performances.

This movie may not attract the typical entertainment seeking moviegoer. The pacing is slow and ending rather predictable. Like the love between the couple, the attraction to this movie is not immediate. The beauty lies in its intricacy, its brilliant dialogue, and the picturesque cinematography of Guilin, China. Complete this with the nominated score with Lang Lang playing Gnossienne No 1, it's like fine English tea on a Sunday afternoon.

The Painted Veil – Love knows no boundaries

2 Responses to “The Painted Veil”

  1. Anonymous steandric 

    the poster and film credits clearly say this film stars naomi watts and edward norton in that order. how come that you've put 2nd listed norton ahead of 1st cast lead watts? is it because watts is slightable (as always) or because norton is male and should be first (your subconscience tells you so) or what.....?

  2. Anonymous BanBan 

    Hi Steandric, interesting question you have. Posters and film credits always have different ways of listing, sometimes it's by alphabetical order, or when the screen character first appears in the movie, or by visuals (character placement in poster), or by fame.

    If you have watched the movie, Edward Norton has a slightly more substantial role than Naomi. He is also the producer of the movie, while Naomi is the co-producer.

    In fact, Anthony Wong is not listed in the poster (I think). I feel he is one of the main supporting roles, and his name will find familiarity with the Asian movie goers.


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